Artist: SupastitionTitle: The DeadlineRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Maurice Downes
With The Deadline (Soulspazm), it seems like we’ve caught Supastition at “that” album. To be more specific, the album, technically an EP, that’s some kind of massive change between then and now, between the artist that sounded like A, but now comes across like B. It’s always marked by a laundry list of things they’ve wanted to say for years on end, especially in the case of a career emcee like Supastition. Now, new label, sound and all, Southern MC Supastition comes poised to give us a very personal, intense album.
He definitely has a lot of material to mine for the personal side of things. To hear Supastition tell it, he’s lived several lifetimes, and he fills the ten tracks of Deadline with all of them: tales of hard life in his neighborhood, family tragedy and survival, separation from his wife… and, well, he’s an underground emcee so you’re definitely going to hear some industry raves and moans. Veterans like Supastition will not leave you with just a message and a beat. This is as competent an emcee as you’ll hear anywhere. “Nowhere to Run” features him trading lines about some of life’s darker moments with guests Sycorax & Madwreck. “Fountain of Youth” is… memorable for being an old man’s rant that isn’t tiring to listen to, even becoming unintentionally funny at times. With such strong production on this album, Supastition can afford to lay much of his soul bare to his audience without it becoming a burden.
But there’s definitely something to be said for moderation when it comes to soul baring, and that becomes a liability for Deadline. Some artists can turn out several songs about one or two similar topics and make it all sound dynamic, but that’s not the case here. Deadline suffers from the feeling that Supastition knows what he wants to talk about on the mic, but doesn’t quite know how to make it more interesting over the length of an entire album. So while tracks like “Soul Searching” and “If I Knew” are strong and distinct artistically, they also cover the same ground without much effect. He winds up talking about the same thing in two different ways… but not different enough.
It’s what stops this from being the memorable release that it could be. All the tracks are good, some even reach greatness, but they take few chances musically. Still, you can’t have any complaints about the quality of this release. Even if Deadline may not leave a permanent mark on Hip-Hop, this highly personal album will leave you with a permanent impression of Supastition as an emcee.